Birther

The Donald Trump Show (Trolling the Gap)

Johnson-20151212-Trump-ObamaBinLyin-detail-bw

This is your reminder―

Since launching his presidential campaign, however, Trump has largely ignored what used to be his signature issue. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly broached the subject last night:

O’REILLY: Do you think your birther position has hurt you among African Americans?

TRUMP: I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t even talk about it anymore, Bill…. I guess with, maybe some. I don’t know why. I really don’t know why. But I don’t think―very few people, you are the first one that’s brought that up in a while.

For the record, Trump fielded a question about this as recently as Monday―the day before this O’Reilly interview. When the candidate said no one has brought up this issue “in a while,” that clearly wasn’t true.

(Benen)

―that Donald Trump is the candidate of the internet troll. The whole pro wrestling metaphor really is tempting, all things considered, but let’s just file that under some manner of reality television. You know, to some degree we’re supposed to believe pro wrestling, too.

(more…)

About What You Would Expect, Except It’s Really, Really Rude to Think of Other People That Way

So.

Say what?Our new poll finds that Trump is benefiting from a GOP electorate that thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim and was born in another country, and that immigrant children should be deported. 66% of Trump’s supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he’s a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was. And 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, to only 20% who want to keep things the way they are ....

.... Trump’s beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29% grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That’s less than the 40% who think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.

(Public Policy Polling; boldface accent added)

Right.

Okay, then.

____________________

Public Policy Polling. Trump Supporters Think Obama is a Muslim Born in Another Country”. Press Release. 1 September 2015.

The Donald Trump Show (Trump Dump)

Real estate mogul Donald Trump announces his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race during an event at the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City on 16 June 2015. Trump, one of America's most flamboyant and outspoken billionaires, threw his hat into the race Tuesday for the White House, promising to make America great again. The 69-year-old long-shot candidate ridiculed the country's current crop of politicians and vowed to take on the growing might of China in a speech launching his run for the presidency in 2016.

Welcome to the Donald Trump Show. We expect this will be, proverbially speaking, at least, interesting, and would encourage at all times to bear in mind that this is, after all, Donald Trump we’re talking about.

To wit, NBC has severed ties with Trump; Cynthia Littleton of Variety explains:

NBC is ending its long relationship with Donald Trump in the wake of the presidential hopeful’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants.

NBC said it will no longer carry the Trump-produced Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Nor will he return to the long-running reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” as host, a role Trump already said he would give up because of his presidential bid.

“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” NBC said in a statement. “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

Trump told CNN that he was considering filing suit against NBC. He said in a statement that “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct” before saying that NBC will support disgraced journalist Brian Williams “but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”

“We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States,” Trump said. “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now. Long ago I told NBC that I would not being doing ‘The Apprentice’ because I am running for president in order to make our country great again.”

So, here’s the thing: This might be a calculated gamble.

(more…)

Not Surprising

Screengrab of BET.com, 28 October 2014, showing something about the odd contrast between grave news and pop-culture advertising.

Sometimes, well, it just isn’t surprising. To wit, we are not surprised

• … that a small-time Republican state legislator in New Hampshire plagiarized a speech against marriage equality two years ago.

• … that a small-time Republican state legislator now running for Secretary of State is a Birther, and now she doesn’t want to talk about it.

The lovable Jennifer Rubin just hates  President Obama.• … Jennifer Rubin will take the word of the Iranian government if it means she can criticize President Obama by doing so.

• … the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was “leaked”.

• … that more people are dead after another shooting.

• … or that Seattle has nothing on Chicago when it comes to deadly violence.

And we might also mention that we are not in the least surprised at the amount of unrelated various video websites want us to watch when we click in to read a news story. What’s that? An important news story? Here, we’ll autoplay “Chris Spencer’s Top 5”. Obviously, we’re out of the loop: Who is Chris Spencer? (Wait, wait, don’t tell me. Please.) Why do I care? (Again, I don’t.) And you’re seriously telling me there’s a show called Real Husbands of Hollywood? (Just stop already.) And, no, we’re not really singling out BET; this just happened to be the stark contrast at hand.

To the other, neither will we be surprised if we don’t try a “Not Surprising” list again in the future. These things just should not be thrown together on a moment’s notice.

FOX News Pretending to Report News

Always be wary of FOX News.

Okay, right. But, still, you know … sometimes people need reminding. That is, sure, the crazy uncle who wrecks every holiday dinner with his newsletter nitwitting is a lost cause, but the younger relatives might need the occasional reminder.

So, Maggie Thurber aptly demonstrates what FOX News is all about with a spectacular lede:

Using a cell phone in a school or construction zone may soon be illegal in Ohio.

Oh, dear Christ, what are those sneaky liberals doing in Ohio?

A bill introduced by Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, would prohibit the use of any electronic wireless device when in a construction zone during actual work hours.

Right. First point: A Republican bill.

But neither is this the problem. Go back and read those two sentences, which also constitute two paragraphs from the article.

The third paragraph is no better.

It would also make it illegal to use such devices in a school zone during hours when children are present — and that includes when they are at recess, not just during opening and closing times.

No, seriously, does nothing seem amiss, here?

It is, however, the fourth paragraph that finally starts leaning back toward reality:

"Ex-Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber helped Thomas Noe launder $45,000 to George Bush’s campaign and ended up with a slap on the wrist $1000 fine." (Cleveland Challenger, 22 February 2013)House Bill 637 also makes the illegal use of cell phones for texting – writing, sending and reading – a primary offense for adults. Currently, drivers 18 years and older can only be cited for such infractions if it’s in conjunction with another traffic violation.

A-ha! Did you catch that? Actually, we hope so, since it isn’t especially clever. Thurber goes on to point out that the apparent problem with the law as it is in Ohio has something to do with the police not writing enough tickets. And while that is its own question, to be certain, it is worth noting that only two sentences make any mention of driving at all, and at no point does Thurber actually come right out and say, “Using a cell phone while driving in a school or construction zone may soon be illegal in Ohio.”

And, you know, for many of us, that sort of thing might seem obvious. But we all have that person in our lives who seems to adore tinfoil, who might listen to Michele Bachmann, cornered, explaining that if only someone had provided this birth certificate before, then Obama could have saved us the trouble of the racist Birther conspiracy, and all the while not seeming to recognize that it was the actual document we had the whole time. And we all know the potsherds ran around reciting that one, too.

And it should also be noted that the FOX News article is nothing more than an advocacy tease; you can find out the real details if only you click through to the fanatical right-wing political website.

So, you know, print and save that article for Uncle Bumbles, next time he comes around, and see how quickly he bites.

Meanwhile, as a point of fair disclosure, we at This Is are currently scratching our heads after a friend inquired about some bizarre question of the federal government trying to force elementary school children in a rural Washington state county to use transgender bathrooms. And we’re always dubious of such stories when we hear them, because nobody can actually tell us what’s going on. So apparently this is happening, because someone said that someone else told someone, and then somebody asked us to find the federal regulation involved. Because, you know, reading a widely-published judicial opinion currently circulating in the news is no different from digging through the various regulations within any given cabinet department like Education or Labor.

Still, though, that is what people like Thurber, a disgraced former county commissioner whose reputation crumbled in a campaign financing scandal, are banking on, that potential allies won’t read the detail, and potential opponents just can’t be bothered with such tripe.

And while we know FOX News is excrement, it sometimes behooves us to tread the plopped pastures and take a look at just how such crap is spread.

____________________

Thurber, Maggie. “Proposed Ohio cell phone law raises many questions”. FOX News. 20 October 2014.

A Fairly Impressive (Republican) Wreck

Louisiana State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R-53)

“But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.”

David Wasserman

It is not, by the logic of conventional wisdom, a good thing when the candidate actually frightens the Cook Political Report editor, but down Lou’siana way perhaps the Palin of the South and voters in Terrebonne Parish see it differently.

And let us be clear—”Palin of the South” is not an insult, regardless of however hilarious or horrifying or redundant others might find the phrase.

Sigh.

David Wasserman explains, for the Washington Post:

As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.

But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.

Then again, as bad reviews go, that one is pretty impressive.

(more…)